HON Lateral File Cabinet Shelf Bumper Replacement

Somewhat to our surprise, our “new” HON Lateral File Cabinets include a pop-out shelf:

HON Lateral File - shelf - closed
HON Lateral File – shelf – closed

The trick: push the bar inward against fairly stiff spring pressure, release it suddenly, watch it pop out maybe half an inch, get some fingers under the front edge, then pull it outward:

HON Lateral File - shelf - extended
HON Lateral File – shelf – extended

Obviously, opening the drawer above the shelf will sweep whatever you put there onto the floor and opening the drawer below seems futile. I suppose it produced a bullet item on the features list.

Note that the topmost “drawer” is also called a “shelf”, because the front cover slides up-and-inward to reveal the contents. Should you stand eight feet tall, you might be able to look down on that shelf, but we mere mortals barely see its contents at eye level.

Dismantling the cabinets preparatory to deep cleaning revealed a pair of rubber bumpers along the rear edge of the shelf:

HON Lateral File - shelf bumper - installed
HON Lateral File – shelf bumper – installed

The slightly angled front side of the bumper (on the right) collides with a crossbar below the drawer just above it, preventing you from pulling the shelf entirely out of the cabinet.

Remove the bumper by pressing down and rearward (to the left), shoving the protruding lip into the slot with a thumb / screwdriver, then pull it upward through the slot:

HON Lateral File - shelf bumper - removed
HON Lateral File – shelf bumper – removed

The second cabinet had only one bumper, so I traced it twice onto a rubber sheet half as thick as the OEM bumper, bandsawed the shapes, and introduced them to Mr Belt Sander for cleanup:

HON Lateral File - replacement shelf bumper
HON Lateral File – replacement shelf bumper

Jammed side-by-side into the slot, they’ll serve the purpose:

HON Lateral File - replacement shelf bumper - installed
HON Lateral File – replacement shelf bumper – installed

As with the replacement foot on the first cabinet, they’re not the prettiest things you’ve ever seen, but Mary doesn’t expect to use the shelf and they’ll never actually bump into anything.

Even the Pixel phone’s HDR image processing has trouble dealing with dark gray objects on a black background in dim light …

HON Lateral File Cabinet Foot Repair

We bought the best-looking (pronounced “least bashed”) pair of hulking five-drawer industrial-strength HON Brigade Lateral File Cabinets from the local ReStore outlet’s assortment for Mary’s quilting fabric stash. They came with a steep discount, barely fit inside the Forester, caused minor interior trim damage, and should organize her entire stash.

One cabinet lost a foot nut at some point in its 16 year history:

HON Lateral File - foot hole - weld nugget filed
HON Lateral File – foot hole – weld nugget filed

The surviving foot nuts sported two weld nuggets apiece:

HON Lateral File - OEM front foot
HON Lateral File – OEM front foot

The hole had the remains of one nugget at the top left and looks like a manufacturing defect to me. Of course, we’re (at least) the second owners and the usual lifetime warranty no longer applies.

I can fix that.

Bandsaw a 1×¾ inch rectangle from 3/8 inch aluminum plate to match the surviving foot nut (which is steel, but aluminum will suffice for our needs). Break the edges, clamp in the Sherline, and mill a square protrusion to match the square-ish hole:

HON Lateral File - square nut - rough cut
HON Lateral File – square nut – rough cut

Drill a 17/64 inch hole (looser than the nominal F drill, because I’m a sissy) for a flat-head bolt from the Drawer o’ 3/8-16 Bolts, tap, and clean up.

A trial fit showed the nugget had to go before the nut would come even close to fitting flat into the hole:

HON Lateral File - foot hole - grinding
HON Lateral File – foot hole – grinding

The sheet metal around the hole had absorbed at least one mighty blow pushing the entire surface inward behind the front edge. To compensate, recess the nut’s front edge and slope the sides with a Dremel wheel to let the bottom face sit level:

HON Lateral File - square nut - taper grinding
HON Lateral File – square nut – taper grinding

Another trial fit showed the need for more recess:

HON Lateral File - square nut - deeper cut
HON Lateral File – square nut – deeper cut

Another spate of grinding made it sit mostly level on the decidedly non-level surface around the hole:

HON Lateral File - square nut - ready to install
HON Lateral File – square nut – ready to install

The beveled corners fit inside the swaged hole corners.

Grind paint / crud off the sheet metal and roughen the surface for good epoxy griptivity:

HON Lateral File - foot hole - ready for install
HON Lateral File – foot hole – ready for install

Stand the cabinet top-side-down to make the bottom level. I wish the basement had one more course of block, but it’s not to be.

Butter the nut with JB Weld epoxy, plunk it in place, apply excess epoxy to make a fillet around the edges, apply duct tape to guy the top of the bolt level-ish, and let it cure:

HON Lateral File - square nut - epoxy curing
HON Lateral File – square nut – epoxy curing

After the epoxy stiffened enough to hold its position, remove the bolt, file a crude ¼ inch hex, and saw a screwdriver slot to make it match the other feet:

HON Lateral File - new foot hex head
HON Lateral File – new foot hex head

Not the fanciest job I’ve ever done, but it now behaves just like the other ones and it’s all good. The HON Storage Files FAQ points to a Troubleshooting Guide showing how to level the thing with a hex socket from inside the bottom drawer.

The flat heads on those bolts are basically 25 mm OD steel plates calling for fuzzy felt bumpers on the Sewing Room’s wood floors. When properly leveled, the front will be ⅛ inch higher than the rear. Although they suggest a pencil should roll toward the back, the top sheet metal on this one may be sufficiently warped to confuse the issue; I have a long level well suited to the task.

The original dimension doodle includes metric offsets for cutting with a ¼ inch end mill:

HON Foot nut - dimension doodles
HON Foot nut – dimension doodles

All in all, a satisfying day in the Basement Shop …

Needle Case Repair

A needle case emerged from the bottom of a drawer in need of repair:

Needle Case - unglued
Needle Case – unglued

The original joint used solvent glue and I suppose I could refresh it with acetone, but two blobs of hot melt glue seemed easier and, IMO, more durable.

In any event, it’s once more ready for use:

Needle Case - repaired
Needle Case – repaired

Hooray for another zero-dollar repair, although you can see why nobody else does them these days.

Kenmore 158 Sewing Machine: Hardware Deglaring

The matte mailing labels on the Kenmore 158’s hand hole cover plate did such a good job reducing the glare from the additional LEDs as to make the shiny hardware around the needle seem overly bright. I suggested gentle sandblasting might improve the situation without changing any surfaces in contact with the fabric.

I was given a spare presser foot to demonstrate my case:

Kenmore 158 Presser Foot - original - front
Kenmore 158 Presser Foot – original – front

The overhead light in the shop produces glare from the nice, shiny steel surfaces similar to what Mary sees from the sewing machine.

A few minutes applying 220 grit blast media with Tiny Sandblaster™ definitely changed its appearance:

Kenmore 158 Presser Foot - sandblasted - front
Kenmore 158 Presser Foot – sandblasted – front

In person, the finish is neutral gray overall, with those odd brown areas appearing only in photographs, perhaps due to the various lights in the shop. The slight texture variations seem to correspond to minor differences in the plating (?) over the steel surface. It definitely cuts down the glare:

Kenmore 158 Presser Foot - sandblasted vs original
Kenmore 158 Presser Foot – sandblasted vs original

The needle clamp and screw across the top of that picture travel up and down, so we decided to deglare them along with the “good” foot:

Kenmore 158 - foot with needle clamp - original
Kenmore 158 – foot with needle clamp – original

Another Tiny Sandblaster™ session knocked back their shine:

Kenmore 158 - foot with needle clamp - sandblasted
Kenmore 158 – foot with needle clamp – sandblasted

Those parts came out slightly less matte, perhaps due to reduced pressure in the propellant can. Seeing as how I’ve had the sandblaster for a couple of decades, I figured it’s time to use the propellant but, as expected, the in-can valve doesn’t re-seal properly, so I’ll be using compressed air the next time around.

After rinsing and blowing and rinsing and blowing the grit out of the threads, everything went back together as expected:

Kenmore 158 - sandblasted hardware installed
Kenmore 158 – sandblasted hardware installed

I’m not doing either of the plates until we have more experience with the matte hardware, but it looks pretty good to me.

Kenmore 158 Sewing Machine: Glare Reduction

The additional LEDs around the needle on (one of) Mary’s Kenmore Model 158 sewing machines provide plenty of light for normal sewing, but produced too much glare on the polished steel “hand hole cover plate” (their nomenclature) for small-scale work. A matte surface seemed in order, which came from some translucent mailing labels left over from our Christmas card effort:

Kenmore 158 - non-glare cover plate
Kenmore 158 – non-glare cover plate

Mailing labels probably aren’t a permanent solution, but they certainly solved the problem without delay. We’re loathe to etch the steel, as increasing the surface roughness definitely isn’t what you want, nor blacken it, for obvious reasons.

Too much light is definitely better than too little, though.

Kenmore Model 158: Foot Pedal Pivots

I got an email asking how the Kenmore Model 158 sewing machine’s foot pedal pivots worked. The notes on rebuilding the carbon disk rheostat and conjuring a Hall effect sensor show the innards, but here’s what you need to know to get there.

The pedal has a pair of pivots on the side closest to your foot, held in place with a small screw inside the two feet:

Kenmore 158 - Pedal pivot screw - in place
Kenmore 158 – Pedal pivot screw – in place

The screw fits into a notch in the unthreaded pin inserted from the side:

Kenmore 158 - Pedal pivot screw - disassembled
Kenmore 158 – Pedal pivot screw – disassembled

And that’s all there is to it!

Now, as happened to my correspondent, the pin can go missing, perhaps after the screw worked loose. Worst case, you’re looking at replacing both parts.

Being made in Japan (as ours were), the pedal has metric sizes: the unthreaded pin is 4 mm in diameter and 18 mm long and the setscrew has an M4×0.7 thread. You could replace the pin with an 18 mm (down to maybe 15 mm) long M4 screw. The threads would make a gritty pivot, but better than no pivot at all.

Better to get a longer M4 screw with an unthreaded section near the head, hacksaw it to the proper length, file to tidy up the cut end, maybe file a notch for the setscrew, and pop it in place. For tidiness, file off the slot / Philips / hex socket to eliminate the temptation to turn it out.

Worst case, a pair of plain old USA-ian 6-32 screws 3/4 inch long would make a sloppy fit. Don’t tell anybody I said so; that’d be barely better than nothin’ at all in there.

Lowe’s claims to have M4×0.7 setscrews (with a hex socket, not a slot) to secure the pin.

If my experience around here is any guide, however, Lowe’s / Home Depot / Walmart may claim to have metric hardware in stock, but the only way to know is to actually go there and rummage around in the specialty hardware section, inside the big steel cabinet with slide-out drawers filled with a remarkable disarray of ripped-open bags and misfiled parts.

Good hunting …

Warm-White LED Strip: FAIL

The roll of warm-white LEDs I used for the first sewing machine lights has evidently aged out:

Failed warm-white LED strip
Failed warm-white LED strip

They’ve been wrapped on their original roll, tucked in an antistatic bag, for the last five years, so it’s not as if they’ve been constantly abused.

All the cool-white LEDs on an adjacent roll in the same bag still work perfectly, so you’re looking at inherent vice.

I harvested the three longest functional sections and dumped the remainder in the electronics recycling box.

COB LEDs provide much more light, if only because they run at higher power densities, and seem to be much better cost-performers:

Juki TL-2010Q COB LED - installed - rear view
Juki TL-2010Q COB LED – installed – rear view

Admittedly, I haven’t looked at the RGB LED strips in a while, either.